I think “adult” is just a word : embrace your 20-somethings

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Hi everyone! I am so sorry I haven’t been blogging. These past few months have been transformative and my blogging is about to shift completely with a really awesome partnership. I am super excited to share in the coming weeks.

I ran across a post that really had me meditating over the past year or so as I entered the “adult” world.  This particular post stated:

“relax you will become an adult. you will figure out your career. you will find someone who loves you. you have a whole lifetime; time takes time. The only way to fail at life is to abstain” – Johanna de Silentio

adulthood and adult are just words.  Words that we place meaning to… I had the hardest time with them once I graduated from UVA last May. People were like “well…you are an adult now…” “you are just like us..” “on to the next step…marriage…career”

man. I hated it when I first graduated because I was like “WHY ARE WE PLACING OUR LIVES IN THESE COMPARTMENTS?!” Is this all that there is too life ? Expecting hardship?….hating bills?….hating life?….embracing the mundane?

I freaked. I freaked when I started my new job. I freaked when I didn’t have a prospect for a relationship. I cried because I didn’t have the connections that I had in Cville. I missed my friends.  I flipped when I moved to a new area.  I was super stressed because I didn’t have everything figured out at once. Things didn’t come in levels or were so predictable when I was in college. I thought because it was done a certain way the past four years – that the formula could be used to tackle my new life. Buuuuuut. That didn’t exactly help at all. 

Adult is just a word. don’t put pressure on yourself to fulfill each aspect all at once. I’m no expert but I realized my life is about being patient with myself, my relationships, and allowing God to lead me on the right path. I try not to be hard on myself but I know God has called me to greatness. I want to love hard and fiercely. I want to be vulnerable and show people the real me even when the world doesn’t want me too. I want to trust God even when things don’t appear to fit the “compartments of adulthood”

I’ve learned to respect my journey.

If I could give some advice over the past year it would be these simple statements:

1.) DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF…

2.) agaaaain…..Don’t be hard on yourself

3.) Realize that you are growing and becoming more wiser and that you don’t have to fit the standards that people want to place on you. You  are becoming wise. 

4.) Believe in something. Have a foundation that you can always go back to

5.) Sit in the silence….turn off the technology. In that silence – you will find who you are – your dreams, goals, strengths, weaknesses

6.) Take time for yourself – look yourself in the mirror every morning – pick out an outfit that screams you, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on that makeup, paint your nails, wear that blazer, those chuck taylors… give yourself that time in the morning to just care for YOU

7.) exercise for health – not to achieve a certain look because you will end up pressuring yourself once again

8.) love fiercely  

9.) but also learn to let go when something is weighing you down

10.) Last but not least – RESPECT YOUR JOURNEY. Your journey is YOURS. Not your mom’s , dad’s , sister’s , friend’s, boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s. Comparisons are sooooo debilitating. Focus on what is in front of you. Go out and utilize those gifts and do those things you’ve been telling yourself you would do forever….DO IT….now =D

I’ve been really reflecting on Maya Angelou’s life these past few days and this quote stuck out in “Letter to My Daughter”

” Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen…I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside , are still innocent and shy as magnolias.  We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do. “

– Maya Angelou in “Letter to my Daughter”

 

Find what makes you at home. Remember your foundations and what makes you who you are and respect your journey.

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– Tonyette

 

purpose in name.

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I was thinking a lot about names or titles last night and their significance. I also enjoy telling my crazy name story to people lol.  My father’s name is Tony and when I was born he wanted to give me his ENTIRE name – the first and the middle LOL. My mom quickly shut that down and added the -ette to the end of Tony and gave me a middle name that started with an R and voila – Tonyette Rochelle. 

So I am fascinated with how much weight names held in the Bible.  A name could either be a positive or a negative.  I am reading through the various stories of the life of Jesus this week and the value of names really stuck out to me.  I am going over the amazing stories of Zechariah/Elizabeth  and Mary/Joseph When Gabriel manifested God’s promises he told both Zechariah/Elizabeth and Mary what they should name their sons (Luke 1:13, Luke 1:31).  Zechariah and Elizabeth named their son John which means “Yahweh is gracious” and Mary and Joseph gave our Savior the name Jesus which is a form of Joshua meaning “the Lord saves”. No doubt these babies had so much destined for them because of their glorious name meanings.  

This had me really thinking about how we define ourselves based in another manner. We often define ourselves by our certain social groups, education, or positions we hold.  We often go to get lengths to fulfill the actions associated with these groups, educational attainments, or positions. What happens when these no longer fulfill – what occurs when that position is taken away or you no longer fit the entire mold of that group? What sustains us?

I am truly happy that I have a title and a name that will NEVER perish. I am God’s DAUGHTER. I am HIS Daughter and that title will never perish, falter, wither, change. This means I am his inheritance.  I am redeemed.  free. called by NAME (Isaiah 43:1). loved. beautifully and wonderfully madecherished. hopeful. I am a CHRISTIAN<3 

That means that I should be a reflection of Christ is EVERY THING I DO. 

 Yes we have names/titles but we should first and foremost be representatives of Christ. we are his sons and daughters

 

I am happy to be Tonyette Rochelle but I am most honored to be called Daughter<3

 

 

beautiful equation.

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okay…so I’m back in math class. smh. I’m trying my hardest to refresh my math memory to help my students and it has been a trip….shoot a vacation. On Friday, I sat with Math teacher for an hour and surprisingly – I remembered a good amount!  I think Calculus and Psych statistics had me disillusioned for a few years lol.  

When I decide what I am going to write about for each day or days of beuatiful – I swear it just pops into my head. Friday was nothing different. Equation popped into my head and I’ve been thinking about it all weekend. According to Free Dictionary equation means The state of being equal . It is a state of perfection – where the left side of the equation equals the left side. Everything is in perfect balance.

Let’s just say – my life OR life in general isn’t perfect.  Over the past few months – I swear nothing makes sense. lol. I’m sort of taking hour by hour because I’ve had to start over in so many aspects. My view on friendship, family, relationships, career,  goals, and dreams have all been challenged and redefined. I’m also trying to find another church and it hasn’t been easy.  Working in the school is so unpredictable and exciting (but great!) and I am constantly learning more about the school and the community. I find myself thinking I know something only to have that something debunked by something else (lol).  Whatever UVA perfection mindset I had left (believe me it was mostly on 10%) has definitely been wiped away LOL (reaaally man it was ridiculous in school). Life in general….doesn’t add up all the time (positive or negative)

Then I visited another church today. He talked about the number seven and how God created the world in seven days. On that seven day – He rested. The pastor reiterated rest and how we often let stress, doubt, and worry keep us from true rest.  We can rest in the equation of creation.  God + his works = 7 day completion. 

 

This got me thinking about other equations that have ransomed us.

 Love of God = sacrifice of son.

Jesus’ love for us = dying on the cross for our sins.

Love of God + Jesus’ Love = freedom.

 

Nothing adds up… BUT they end up being perfect because of the love of God and Jesus. We may not understand His works or every single detail. They may not be ideal or add up to the world’s view of success BUT they are apart of an equation that is bigger than what we can see. We are ransomed and made new.  So take rest in the love of God and Jesus.

 

– tw

Beautiful brightness: Days 20-22

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Forgive me for this late post. I’ve been on a techno detox. smh. I just needed to get refocused but here are the last few days<3

I can’t run from the Sun lol. Lately (the past few days), I’ve been driving when the sun starts to set. This isn’t an issue for most folks  – but it is so unfortunate when my sun visors barely cover my eyes. I am NOT tall enough to even get that sun visor protection LOL. so yeah…it’s a mess – my eyes water and burn(my eye makeup seeps right into my poor eyes). I’ve had to pull over multiple times (in the city and on the highway) just to wipe my eyes. You would think I would’ve learned by now to have tissues in my hand when it happens.

I decided to go to Yoga tonight because I needed some variety in my exercise routine.  I definitely missed going to classes and just feeding off all the peaceful vibes in the room. So I roll up in the class late (because my eyes started burning while I driving so I had to pull over) and my friend picks the HOTTEST spot in the room lol. The sun was BEAMING on me – like it was HOT and I was sweaty eh.

In the middle of my peacefulness and awesome breathing – I thought “I can’t run away for the sun”.  When I first started seriously following God – I had to see myself as a Light.  I was so caught up in giving myself the short end of the stick that I never thought about how God created me to be. I can’t run away from the sun.

My devotional confirmed this thought way before I even went to Yoga. I’ve been doing She Reads Truth Women in the Bible devotional for the past month or so. In so many stories – God saves and sets aside these amazing women. But a few stories have sort of hit me hard these past few days – the crippled woman, the lady at the well, and daughter of Jairus. God sought after these women – raising them from death, sickness, and spiritual weakness.  These women can’t run from the sun…or the Son. Jesus came to these women – even in their lowest points. He found them – He sought after them.  Even in their mess, God wanted them to be Lights for the world and be testaments of the power. These women couldn’t run from the SON (the greatest Light of the world)

Stay encouraged everyone. We can’t run from the Son – He will forever seek us ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I’ve been blasting Love Quest by Taelor Gray FOREVER. One verse always resonates with me

“Before I was thought of, I already existed and forever you sought us and made every provision…”

God seeks us all in EVERY season ❤

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! – Ephesians 5:8

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” – Luke 8:16

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14

Love Quest – Taelor Gray (ONE OF THE BEST LOVE SONGS TO GOD EVER!)

a beautiful walk. day 19.

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I am truly grateful for AMAZING friends. When I first graduated I was afraid I would never speak to them again…I know, I’m dramatic – but I really was afraid of losing contact. I’ve had the opportunity to really meet some great people in college. In addition to those awesome and beautiful friends I met in HS, God placed people in my life during college when I trusted Him with my friendships.Yes college was alienating and overwhelming. In a place where people often get a do over, people often OVER DO IT.  I remember wondering why I should try to be like one person when our lives are totally different.  I couldn’t walk in their shoes, I had to walk in my shoes and develop my own identity and perspective on life.

The other day I was reading this awesome article entitled  21 Habits of Supremely Happy People on Huffington Post. I laughed because most of them were true for me. LOL. Towards the end I was laughing at the Gif of Beyonce and her fierce walk.  The caption above it stated They walk the walk lol. I truly agree with that piece because I believe in walking with confidence. I always try to walk with my head held high.

Anyway – I’ve been really thinking about perspectives today and how they translate into relationships. It sort of gets tricky because we will never truly understand what it means to walk another person’s walk.  We can try to understand and give as much support as possible! I support my closest friends and we give one another advice – we listen and we are their for one another when we are at our lowest points.  I am able to go to them and they give me Godly advice and help me see my situations in a certain way.  Yes they support and they try their hardest to understand my situation. BUT their journeys, their walks are totally different than my journey/walk.

I guess today reminded me that we are called to give support to others. We can’t solve their problems, we will never know what it is like to be them or to have their thoughts – but we can listen – we can give TRUE, helpful, Godly advice. We can be nonjudgmental, loving, and caring.  In addition, our walks are ALL different. We will end up where we need to be to fulfill our purposes. We can’t compare ourselves to others.

Whether you are supremely happy or not LOL walk your walk, hold your head high, and strut/swag it out ❤

peace/love.

TW

strut.

beautiful newness. days 16 and 17

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Over the past 16 days, I am truly grateful that I did this beautiful challenge. I’ve been thinking about the word “new” these past days. As you all know, I’m constantly being nagged by how impatient , emotional, and manipulative I was in the past. smh. I get ahead of myself, I say too much, I overthink…it overwhelms me . I am always concerned with not being who I was a year ago…two years ago. I don’t want to be that empty person. I don’t want to be reminded of certain characteristics. When I am, it hurts, it’s scary, and it numbs me. I don’t want to be reminded of my weaknesses or my past failures. I don’t want to make the same mistakes. When I see even a glimmer of my past – I am distraught.

I have really been meditating on God’s ability to make us new and renew us everyday. See, those words sound nice on good days, but they sustain in the lowest, most confusing, or trying times. When you don’t know or don’ t have the energy God’s words sustain. They hit heart, the mind, the body and literally change the person. See the beautiful thing about the Cross is that I am new. Yes, I will be reminded of my not so happy times, but Christ and the Word overcomes everything. It renews us and allows us to take those weaknesses and see them from another angle. Yes I overthink and I’m pretty sensitive, but God gave me a heart for helping people. I will go above and beyond to help; I want the best for others. I love with all my heart and I truly try to see the best in others. Even though I overthink and my sensitivity gets in the way, God has and continues to reshape them and help me use them another way.

The butterfly comes to mind when I think about renewal. Even in though it goes through all these crazy phases – some beautiful others ugly – it turns into this breathtaking insect.

God reminded me of the renewal through butterflies today. This morning I woke up late – arrived at work and had to travel back to my apartment because I left my jump-drive. I came in my bathroom and my butterfly earrings dropped into the sink. I’ve been looking for them for a few days so I was pretty happy. When I left the school today – a HUGE butterfly flew out of nowhere. I haven’t seen a butterfly in a few days. Definitely needed that reminder this morning!

Embrace your past. Don’t let it scare you. Allow God to overpower that all. We are all made NEW.

 

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beautiful growth….beautiful redemption

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If you’ve been following my blog over the past two years you all know my story. For those who haven’t – God has taken these past two years and transformed my life SO MUCH.  During Summer 2012, I decided to read my Bible every morning and night/journal every morning and night and let’s just say – I haven’t been the same person since.  After slipping and falling my way through 2011 – God’s hand still covered me and kept me safe. I had to surrender so much about myself in order for God to use me. I used to manipulate EVERYTHING…I tried to control EVERYTHING – my relationships, friendships, grades, looks – it was ridiculous. When I lost control in 2011 – I had to surrender.

Manipulation and control have really been knocking at my door lately and it is SO DIFFICULT not to want to answer. Yes- manipulation sounds harsh but that is exactly what it is when we try to do things our way and not God’s way. A few minutes ago I was reading about Tamar (Genesis 38:1-30) and I was actually really thrown off by how she disguised herself as a prostitute just to get an heir. As I read my devotional content – the She Reads Truth owners rallied for Tamar- even with her dysfunctional past, family, and ability to manipulate- She is STILL apart of God’s story.

 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

(Matthew 1:3)

Just like Tamar – I used to want to manipulate EVERY aspect of my life for MY good. Even though I’ve been reminded of that part of myself – I realized that clinging to God can overpower any desire to control.  Just like Tamar- even though I’ve slipped and fell trying to control – God utilize those moments of weaknesses to show me that I don’t have everything under control. I’m perfectly fine with that…God’s guidance and counsel sustains me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

please don’t hesitate to ever reach out via FB/IG/through email (trw8aw@virginia.edu) if you ever need prayer or want someone to listen. I also have a contact form posted at the end (erase my information, for some reason it continue to pop up in the form) . God gives us companions for this journey, don’t do it alone.

peace/love.

tw